Republicans long ago lost African American voters. They are well on their way to losing Latinos. And if Trent Franks prevails, they may lose Asian Americans, too.
The Arizona Republican’s latest antiabortion salvo to be taken up by the House had a benign name — the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act — and a premise with which just about everybody agrees: that a woman shouldn’t abort a fetus simply because she wants to have a boy rather than a girl.
The problem with Franks’s proposal is that it’s not entirely clear there is a problem. Sex-selection abortion is a huge tragedy in parts of Asia, but to the extent it’s happening in this country, it’s mostly among Asian immigrants.
For Franks, who previously tried to pass legislation limiting abortions among African Americans and residents of the District of Columbia, it was the latest attempt to protect racial minorities from themselves.
“The practice of sex selection is demonstrably increasing here in the United States, especially but not exclusively in the Asian immigrant community,” he announced on the House floor Wednesday afternoon. He quoted a study finding that male births “for Chinese, Asian Indians and Koreans clearly exceeded biological variation.”
Democrats found Franks’s paternalism toward minority groups to be suspect. Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.), identifying herself as a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said the bill would “lead to further stigmatization of women, especially Asian Pacific American women.” Various Asian American legal and women’s groups opposed the bill.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Franks didn’t dispute that Asian Americans would be targeted. “The real target in the Asian community here is the Asian women who are being coerced into aborting little girls,” he told me, adding: “When the left doesn’t want to make abortion the issue, they say you’re being against minorities.”
Franks is a principled and consistent opponent of abortion, but his strategy has raised eyebrows before because of its racial component.
Here's a great topic for Milbank to take on next:
If any white Republicans object, they're racist! And thus they deserve to lose the crucial East Asian-American vote, both eaters of dead babies and their co-ethnic non-eaters of dead babies who must stand shoulder to shoulder in racial solidarity with the dead baby eaters. Now, you Republican racists might say that most Asian voters object to eating dead babies on principle, and thus most Asian voters wouldn't allow Democratic demands for Asian racial solidarity to trump their aversion to eating dead babies. But that just shows what a white Republican racist you are to even hope that there won't be complete racial solidarity among Asian voters on the eating-dead-babies thing. As we enlightened white Democrats know, race is everything! Or, at least it ought to be when it comes to how nonwhites vote. So, if legislation against eating dead babies would have disparate impact on any minority, then it's racist to even imagine there should be a law against eating dead babies. What can't you understand about that? I, Dana Milbank, would personally eat a dead baby to prove Republicans are racist.